Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Control arm bushings toyota Camry 2005

My dealer recommends that the the control arm bushings on my 2005 Toyota Camry will need to be replaced. They are worn, and split. I haven’t seen the bushings( the car was already in the lot).

Supposedly, the bushings cannot be replaced without replacing the entire control arm. Is this true?

How long should I wait to have to the bushings replaced? I will get a second opinion.

Anything besides worn split appearance? Clunking? Bad handling? Unusual tire wear? Can’t align?

The dealer recommends waiting for “knocking sounds”, and then it will have to be addressed.
Otherwise, no problems with the tires or alignment.

I’d wait until I noticed a problem.

Good. If there is a problem, does the entire control arm have to be replaced in this Toyota? The dealer said the knocking may not be apparent for a while- months to years. lists control arm bushings for it, so they might be replaceable. I’d find a good independent shop (click on ‘mechanics files’ above if you don’t have one), a dealer doesn’t need to do this, when the time comes.

Thanks for your excellent advice.

One other point- how do i know when the situation is dangerous- the control arm dismantling?

There should be some noise, squeaking, bumping, knocking, etc. Or you might have tire wear problems. But I’d be surprised if it was dangerous, there would be LOTS of symptoms before it got to that.

Thanks again!

The rubber in he control arm bushings check with age. Checking is normal and appears usually within 5 years. However, it does not degrade the integrity of the bushing itself. Control arm bushings are good for 20 years or more. The first indication will be uneven tire wear that cannot be corrected by alignment or replacement of another suspension component. The ball joints will usually fail before the bushing does.

My limited experience with replacing the bushing by itself is that it is a LOT of work to dig the old one out of the control arm. If you are paying someone to do the job, it probably is cheaper to just replace the whole control arm than to pay the mechanics labor rate to dig the bushings out. Some bushings may be easier than others though, but I never got an easy one.


Here’s some interesting information

My personal car is a 2005 Camry, and I have the factory service manual.

I just looked in the suspension section, and it does not show a procedure for replacing just the bushings.

While Rockauto does have the bushings, I am betting that Toyota does NOT stock those parts, and they’ll likely tell you to buy the whole arm or go home.

So, Toyota is right, in the sense that THEY can only sell you the whole arm

However, if the bushings are truly bad, I’d get aftermarket bushings and be done with it

Can you post us some pictures of these bad bushings?

It may be too difficult for them to take off the bushings, so they replace the entire control arm.
What I didn’t mention:$1026 for both control arms parts and labor. The description: both bushings torn.

I don’t have a picture. The car was in the lot, so I didn’t see the bushings. Will inspect in the future. The front desk mechanic said the issue will have to be addressed in the future.

"The front desk mechanic "
That’s likely the service writer. Most likely not a mechanic…

He does know the car, though. So he formerly must have worked in the shop.

$1026 for two control arms- how much would a regular shop charge in a metro area?


How many miles on your car?

I was advised by my Toyota dealer that not only were the control arm bushings worn but that the steering rack was leaking. So also was the transmission. Total cost in the order $3000 for my 2005 Camry with over 240,000 km on it - more than the trade in value of the car! I went to an independent repair garage and we had a look underneath. There was a very slight seepage from both places but no discernable drop in fluid levels over the last 10,000 km. The mechanic also said not to worry about the control arms until something unusual happened such as a knocking on bumps.

2nd opinions are the name of the game with both mechanics and Doctors:)

My most recent tactic is “let me think about it” and not do the repair the day they suggest it.
A repair is usually not imminent, unless its something that must be replaced like a starter.

Another problem with dealers: this has happened a number of times- they recommend a repair that already has been done recently. “The tech recommends that the power steering fluid be changed, it’s dirty”. It was changed in the last year. Then the front desk looked back at my repair record and realized it was an “error”.

Sounds like they are desperate for work at the Toyota dealer.